This offseason could bring a lot of turnover to the Knicks roster. SNY recently reported that opposing leaders believe it is “unlikely” for the team to follow a slow reconstruction under Rose and Thibodeau. New York is expected to chase veteran players to help strengthen their lineup which should include three main young Mitchell Robinson pieces, RJ Barrett, and their 2020 lottery pick.
While some may argue about characterizing these upcoming players as “marginal” pieces, anyone who’s not called Mitchell or RJ is on the checklist as possible moving parts.
That means Dennis Smith Jr. This means Kevin Knox. This means Damyean Dotson. And of course, that means Frank Ntilikina.
Now, this is where Thibodeau’s influence comes in. Assuming Rose trusts Thibs, who she has just hired and known for several years, you should believe that there will be a two-way line of communication on how to build the roster for next season.
Looking at the list of young players from above, it would be easy to predict that Ntilikina could find a second life under Coach Thibs. When you think of Thibodeau, you think of defense, and no young player impersonates him better than Frank. Dotson would be another player who comes to mind adapting to the style of play that Thibs prefers.
Each manager will play with the same stellar players, but each manager adopts his own approach on who trusts more deeply on the bench. Which of the long list of young players on the Knicks roster who will be favored by Thibodeau will be fascinating to learn.